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New translational research centre celebrates its topping-out

Professor Nishan Canagarajah (left) and Dr David Pan conduct the topping-out ceremony Bhagesh Sachania

l-r: Dr David Pan, Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Professor Raimondo Ascione, Dr Lorna Colquhoun, Rachel Foster-Borman, Professor Richard Hammond, Professor Mick Bailey Bhagesh Sachania

15 September 2015

A new national research facility aligned to NHS standards is currently under construction in the University of Bristol, for researchers across the UK. Its role is to get research out of the laboratory and ensure patients worldwide can access ground-breaking treatments as quickly as possible.

The £5.3 million Translational Biomedical Research Centre (TBRC) is funded by the University of Bristol, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and British Heart Foundation (BHF). The centre’s ‘topping-out’ was celebrated last month, with those present including Dr David Pan, MRC Programme Manager of Regenerative Medicine; Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor Nishan Canagarajah; and Professor Raimondo Ascione, TBRC Director.

Prior to human trials, new discoveries are tested in animals, although only when there is no other way to confirm they are safe. TBRC will use experimental models relevant to human disease and anatomy and procedures will be tracked in living animals using sophisticated, non-invasive scanning techniques. This will help scientists test new treatments to NHS standards while reducing the number of animals needed. The centre will have a bio-bank, a long-term store for cells collected post-mortem that will reduce future need for animal tissue samples. TBRC will operate under the One-health concept for the benefit of people, animals and environment. Often we share the same problems as animals including tumours, clots and blockages. Veterinary clinical scientists will also work at TBRC to develop new methods to treat animals. Often, this is a simple case of adapting treatments already established in humans.

Professor Canagarajah said: ‘The new centre is a key element of our research strategy to fast track the translation of fundamental discoveries to the bed side. TBRC will operate in full adherence to Home Office regulations and will benefit from the extensive veterinary expertise in the University of Bristol.

‘This is a key development in the University’s vision for a research culture that feeds directly and rapidly into tangible and lasting benefits for the health and welfare of humans and animals alike.’ 

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